Sydney: India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni is hoping that a break in a long summer tour of Australia has recharged his men for the World Cup and has not left them “over-cooked”.
India have endured a lengthy and miserable tour Down Under in which they were beaten 2-0 in the four-match Test series and then failed to win a game in the one-day tri-series which also included England.
“It’s not easy to play four Test matches… followed by a tri-nation series,” Dhoni told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday.
“So this break would have definitely helped them to recharge their batteries … only time will tell.”
“I know that cooked and over-cooked is a very fine line between them — and especially if you do a barbecue you can understand that,” he added.
Dhoni missed the birth of his first child, a daughter born on Friday, for the Australia tour, but asked whether he would rather have been in India in recent days he said: “Not really.”
“I have been blessed with a baby daughter. Mum and daughter both are good,” he told reporters.
“But as of now I am on national duties so I think everything else can wait. The World Cup is a very important campaign.”
India played their final tri-series game on January 30 and will begin the defence of their World Cup title against traditional rivals Pakistan on February 15 in Adelaide.
“A lot of people have different views about it,” Dhoni said.
“How I personally take it forward is it’s similar to playing against Australia, Sri Lanka or any other Test playing nation.
“Because the moment you start thinking about the traditional rivalry and all of that, you’re just adding pressure to yourself.”
Dhoni said that over the past three or four years the atmosphere on the field had mellowed, with verbal exchanges between cricketers minimised.
“And I feel that is really good for the game because you want to play it as a sport, you want to play hard, but you still have to maintain the spirit of the game,” he said.
“That is one thing that both the sides have done really well.”
While the India fans will have high expectations, Dhoni downplayed the pressure on his team.
“What is most important is (that) the 15-member squad and the support staff right now are not to think about expectation,” he said.
“That is something that will be crucial … we’re not thinking too much about the fans.”(AFP)